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Bridle path

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  • Bridle path

    Are people still trimming bridle paths on their show horses? My horse's less than spectacular forelock had gotten quite puny through the show season, so I have let her bridle path grow out completely this winter. She now has a much thicker forelock, even if most of the thickness is towards the top. If you don't have a bridle path, how do you make the braids work out?

  • #2
    For me, the bridle path is completely optional.

    I'd much rather see no bridle path than one that is too long. That really compromises the look of the horse's topline when the bridle path is so long that it looks like the horse is missing a braid or two (or more!) at the top.

    When there is no bridle path, I just start the forelock braid slightly behind the ears, and it all works out fine.

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    • #3
      When I got my OTTB he had about four inches of half bridle path/half regular mane. A little leftover from his track days. Its almost grown out now, and I did decided to trim in a bridle path.

      I'm a huge bridle path fan...the OCD in me freaks out when the hairs are not parted neatly under the crown piece. I think its personal preference as long as it looks neat.

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      • #4
        I do a "comb over" forelock. Horse has a lovely thick mane but no forelock. I let his bridle path grow out and pull it forward, so it lays flat under the bridle. I start the braid right around the ears, so the portion just under the bridle isn't braided, and still lays flat. You need to be a bit more careful to make sure no hairs are getting pinched every ride but it works out just fine.

        Also, becareful when you pull the main to make sure you let the comb over part grow out nicely. Undersaddle you can't even tell there is no bridle path.
        For the horse color genetics junky

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        • #5
          I just put my exactly where the bridle lays, and only about an inch (or less) long. Anything longer than that is too much, this coming from a former Arab person. I grew the bridle paths out on everything, even this super exotic stallion. Of course, when I sold him they promptly shaved off half his mane and ended it at a very unflattering spot on his neck.

          Sorry, got on a tangent. I would try to do a comb-over and get as nice a forelock as possible, but I'd still feel that at least a little bit of a bridle path should exist, for the bridle.
          COTH's official mini-donk enabler

          "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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          • #6
            Yes, definitely do a small, well placed bridle path. No one but me gets to clip my horse's bridle path, though, as I'm militant about the bridle path not creeping to get longer and longer. I can't stand bridling a horse that has no bridle path at all.

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            • #7
              To me, the length of a bridlepath is determined based on the thickness of the mane and forelock. My current horse has about four manes and a pretty nice forelock. For him, a bridlepath (no wider than the crownpiece on his bridle) is a necessity. For horses with thinner manes and less than stellar forelocks, bridlepaths become more and more optional. Most of the time I will do a tiny bridlepath about a centimeter long just to delineate where the mane and forelock start. Often, the forelock starts pretty far back in order to have enough to braid, aka the forelock comb over .

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              • #8
                My poor girl has a wussy forelock. 1/2 or more of it is just pony fuzz. I am growing out her mane to make her a prosthetic forelock for special occasions. The poor girl!!!

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I have been working on the "forelock comb over", as well. I do have issues, with the current no bridle path, of figuring out exactly which hair is forelock and which is mane, when I put the bridle on. I think part of her forelock issue, besides not being very full to begin with, was losing some to each braiding and bridle path creep. Mine seems to creep forward, instead of back.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                    I'm a huge bridle path fan...the OCD in me freaks out when the hairs are not parted neatly under the crown piece.
                    I am the same. Must. Have. Bridle path. It REALLY bugs me for a horse not to have a bridle path - I get quite a few such client horses and have to repress the OCD in me to trim every time I even put a halter on as I do not touch manes or tails on a client horse. For the horses who have no forelock (I collect those ) I do the combover thing and trim from further back.
                    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

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                    • #11
                      I also fall into the OCD must.have.bridle.path category. Here is a word of advice though - do not have a breed show person do it! My oh so sweet fiance was trying to be a perfect groom and sweetly did my gelding's bridle path... Well apparantly in the APHA and AQHA, you lay back the ear and make the bridle path the length of the ear... Well when you have a 17 hand 1/4 TB 3/4 Hanoverian they have some pretty big ears!
                      Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                      An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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                      • #12
                        I cannot stand to not have a neatly clipped bridle path. Mine get them long enough to go under the bridle, not much more. FWIW, Mare has a thick, frizzy mane and Boy has a thinner one.
                        A proud friend of bar.ka.

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                        • #13
                          Ditto!

                          Originally posted by OveroHunter View Post
                          I also fall into the OCD must.have.bridle.path category.
                          Gotta have it! But, I don't want it any longer than what I need to fit under the bridle. NO breed show bridle paths here!
                          ALP
                          "The Prince" aka Front Row
                          Cavalier Manor

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